Newspaper headlines: Syria attack and diesel car tax

Child being treated in Syria Image copyright EPA
Image caption Pictures of children being treated after the apparent chemical attack dominate the front pages

Small children and babies stare out from from behind oxygen masks on many of Wednesday's front pages, which show them being treated for the effects of an apparent chemical attack in Syria.

And the papers have no hesitation in blaming the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"Two war crimes in one day," declares the i, which reports how civilians were gassed and then a hospital bombed.

"Make vile Assad pay," demands the Daily Mirror, which describes the Syrian president as "a monster" and says "Britain and every other civilised country" must tighten sanctions.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Kyle Orton, of think tank the Henry Jackson Society, believes the use of chemical weapons was "a message intended to flaunt Assad's immunity to the pressures of the international community".

He says the West must react meaningfully to "this latest outrage".

The Guardian says all efforts must be made to ensure that the culprits face justice.

'Toxin tax'

Owners of diesel cars facing financial penalties because of the pollution their vehicles cause are offered hope by the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, which say Theresa May has hinted that she may do something to help them.

The Telegraph speculates that she may drop plans to tax diesels entering cities or prevent councils from making diesel drivers pay more to park when the government publishes draft plan for tackling air pollution later this month.

But the Guardian focuses on the victims of pollution.

It has conducted a study with Greenpeace and found more than 2,000 schools and nurseries were within 150m of a road producing illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide, leaving hundreds of thousands of children exposed to pollution.

A professor from Barts and the London School of Medicine tells the paper that we need to change attitudes and "make the polluter pay".

The Daily Mail is unashamedly patriotic in its coverage of the tensions over Gibraltar, describing how "a tiny British patrol boat" chased a Spanish warship from disputed waters around the territory.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Tensions over Gibraltar and Brexit make the front page of the Mail.

A front page photo shows the Royal Navy's boat dwarfed by the Spanish vessel, which Spain insists was on a routine patrol.

The Mail calls the incursion "a deliberate provocation" and quotes the Conservative MP, Col Bob Stewart, who accuses Spain of stoking tension with what he says could be seen as "an act of war".

The Financial Times leads on efforts to close the gender gap in financial firms, concluding that women are still missing out on most of the top jobs.

The paper spoke to 50 of the world's biggest companies in the sector and found that only one in four senior executives is female.

One junior banker tells the paper that she resigned because she didn't feel she could progress in a firm where men said their female manager got her job because she was "pretty for her age".

But the woman who chairs the British Bankers' Association, Noreen Doyle, says that, while more can be done to eliminate unconscious bias, women need to let people know that they are willing to take on more responsibility.

Marmite: Good for the brain?

The Mail and the Daily Express report the cheering suggestion for Marmite lovers that the spread may boost brain power and could even help stave off dementia.

The high concentration of vitamin B12 in the yeast extract is said to increase levels of chemicals that protect against neurological disorders.

Researchers from York University studied the reactions of 28 people watching flickering patterns on a television screen and concluded that those who ate a teaspoon of Marmite a day showed a reduction in their response.

Alzheimer's Research UK cautions that while the study is "interesting" it doesn't prove any effect on memory or dementia.